People think plants are boring. No, really, I know it’s hard to believe, but they do.
Trees? Well, unless they’re on fire or killing orcs, probably boring.
Vegetables? Definitely dull.
However, a little incident occurred the other day which made me realise that, with a tiny bit more context, plants can be interesting to the non-botanist. Cool, even (ok, humour me).
This incident occurred in the glass houses at RBGE, where I’m lucky enough to be a student. Some tourists were wandering around the Montane Tropics glasshouse looking pretty bored. I was in there revising for my exams and happened to notice a particularly beautiful Musaceae. That is, a Banana plant. It was gorgeous- big pink bracts, wonderful yellow flowers and the beginnings of green bananas (see photo). The tourists wandered past me and gave it a cursory glance so I chimed up with ‘It’s a banana!’ and pointed out the green finger like structures which were on the cusp of recognisability as our nation’s favourite fruit. When that sunk in, it suddenly became a celebrity; photographs, Grandma being called over to have a look, all because it was something they knew, something they could relate to. (A small disclaimer: the species pictured here may not be a species of Musaceae which produces the fruits we typically eat, but it’s in the same family and has the same type of inflorescence, the same type of fruit and is certainly closely related to the bananas we buy from the shops). I mean, look at it, it’s a thing of splendour, of opulence.
It almost makes me feel sorry for the sad, bagged up things on the shelves in Tesco.
Anyway, that brings me to this blog.
It’s not for botanists. Sorry, I’m not that high brow. It’s about linking up the boring plant related things we come across in our every day life with the awesome, beautiful or deadly plants they come from. Or it might be about linking up mundane plants with the fantastic things they can be used for. Or it might just feature plants that I like, because I’m not good at sticking to themes.
I’ll endeavour to update it once a week or so.